So, Andrew Jordan at Templar Knives in the Netherlands, donated some pretty incredible stainless steel planet killers for the expedition members to take through the Northwest Passage. I mean, these are some seriously heavy duty knives – not just some show pieces or something any old redneck straps to his belt. Each of our expeditions has a designated knife with the expedition logo. One of my best friends and fellow canoe racer Ginsie Stauss designed the logo for our Amazon expedition and for the upcoming Arctic Cowboys expedition. Now comes the “Austin Moment”. For the uninitiated, an Austin Moment is one of those times when the extremely unique flavor of Austin magically rears its head for those involved to enjoy.
I found a local engraver online, whose work looked particularly clean and significantly higher quality than others in town: Austin Engraving Solutions, over on Cherico Street in east Austin. I dropped by yesterday to find a wonderful old reconditioned rock cottage, surrounded by a tall wooden fence with really nice landscaping and garden sculptures. Once across the brick-paved driveway, I entered the garage converted into a work studio with several high-tech laser machines. The proprietor was Neville from Ireland and he was engraving some swords and all other kinds of weaponry. I showed him the knives and downloaded a copy of Ginsie’s logo with an easy assertion that he’d contact me in a day or so when he finished.
Well, last evening – the same day – while at my book club where we were discussing “The Midnight Assassin”, the book about Austin’s own serial killer in the 1890’s (yep, the Austin moment gets more and more drawn out), Neville texts me with a picture of his completed work and it looks great!
I show up this afternoon to pick up the knives. While there, Neville points me to his house so I can use the can. Inside is covered with really great art from floor to ceiling and the place is eclectically, but tastefully decorated throughout. Upon returning to his shop, Neville explains that his wife did all that, as she’s the artist and it reminds him of his grandma’s warm cluttered house… but nicer. When I ask about his pastimes, other than engraving monster killing knives, he mentions that he’s a bass player in an Irish band and they’re playing at an Irish pub in my neighborhood. Of course he is and of course they are!
So, after some canoe rigging, my bride and I shuffle over to the pub, down and appropriately large amount of fish/chips/burger and listen to some fine Irish songs as the evening breeze does its best to ward of the impending heat wave we’ll all endure in the coming months. What a great place to live!
Thanks, Andrew Jordan at Templar Knives, Neville at Austin Engraving Solutions, Ginsie Stauss for the friendship and logo, for the guys in our book club and thanks, Austin.